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Russia seizes Georgia base, opens second front

Posted on 08/11/2008 8:16:28 AM PDT by Jeff Head

TBILISI, Georgia — Russia opened a second front of fighting in Georgia on Monday, sending armored vehicles beyond two breakaway provinces and seizing a military base and police stations in the country's west, the Georgian government and a Russian official said.



(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Breaking News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Russia
KEYWORDS: caucasus; energy; geopolitics; georgia; georgianconflict; russia; russianinvasion; southossetia; war
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To: ChinaThreat

I am advocating defending an ally and if that means direct conflict with a washed up has been of a regional power, armed with inferior weapons manned by poorly trained troops, then so be it.

You’re the one introducing a nuclear exchange (something neither Nation would consider).

421 posted on 08/11/2008 1:44:31 PM PDT by VaBthang4 ("He Who Watches Over Israel Will Neither Slumber Nor Sleep")
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To: elfman2

Whatever. Defending Georgia on Georgian soil would LOGICALLY mean attacking Russians. You can play semantics all day long. Don’t bother trying to insult me though because you only make yourself look

422 posted on 08/11/2008 1:46:48 PM PDT by ChinaThreat (s)
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To: isrul

Georgia Under Online Assault

By Noah Shachtman August 10, 2008 | 12:29:00 PMCategories: Crazy Ivans, Info War
The websites of Georgia’s government have been under denial-of-service attacks for weeks, with Russian hackers fingered as the culprits. Those online assaults have only intensified in recent days, as a shooting war between the two countries has broken out.

Galrahn at Information Dissimenation says that “Russia appears to have targeted the .ge domain for specific government websites, and are pounding the Georgian military networks, but other websites in Georgia in org, net, and other domains are still up, sporadically.” The Washington Post adds that “the Caucasus Network Tbilisi — key Georgian commercial Internet servers — remain under sustained attack from thousands of compromised PCs aimed at flooding the sites with so much junk Web traffic that they can no longer accommodate legitimate visitors.”

423 posted on 08/11/2008 1:52:25 PM PDT by Schwarzeneger
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To: Catholic Canadian
The saddest part of all this is that Christians can’t seem to stop fighting themselves when we face an even greater threat.

The Russian government (and specifically Putin who appears to be in control of the Russian side of this conflict) is NOT Christian.

424 posted on 08/11/2008 1:56:22 PM PDT by vrwc1
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To: Schwarzeneger

Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, November 26, 2006; Page A01

TBILISI, Georgia — The U.S. Secret Service and Georgian police are investigating an international counterfeiting operation that stretches from a separatist enclave in this former Soviet republic to Maryland, where fake $100 bills have been seized, according to senior officials and investigators here. The allegations are supported by American diplomats, U.S. court documents and a recent report to Congress.

From a printing press in South Ossetia, a sliver of land with no formally recognized government, more than $20 million in the fake bills has been transported to Israel and the United States, according to investigators. The counterfeit $100 notes have also surfaced in Georgia and Russia, officials said.

The fake notes have been passed at numerous businesses throughout the Baltimore area and have also surfaced in New York, Newark and Buffalo, according to court papers and the joint report to Congress by the Secret Service, the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve. The report, issued in September, also said the number of counterfeit notes produced in this region and passed in the United States has “increased dramatically” in recent years.

The presence in South Ossetia of an international counterfeiting ring capable of producing thousands of bills, according to investigators, is a stark example of how organized crime has flourished, sometimes through the neglect or alleged involvement of officials, in areas of the former Soviet Union whose territorial status remains unresolved 15 years after the fall of communism.

“Counterfeiting is not the o­nly headache for us if you’re talking about criminality in South Ossetia,” Ekaterine Zguladze, Georgia’s deputy interior minister, said in an interview. “You also have drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, robbery, kidnapping. And our opportunity to fight criminals in there is very limited.”

A spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service, in an e-mail message, declined to discuss the case “due to the sensitivities of the o­ngoing investigations and political considerations.” But the joint report to Congress said the Secret Service “is currently investigating a scheme with ties to suspects in Israel, Russia, and the Republic of Georgia to produce counterfeit U.S. currency. The U.S. Secret Service has reason to believe this family of counterfeit notes is being produced in the Caucasus region,” as the mountainous area encompassing parts of southern Russia and Georgia is called.

U.S. diplomats confirmed that the location was South Ossetia.

The cash from the Caucasus, as with other lines of counterfeit dollars believed to be from the same source, was given its own code by the Secret Service: c-21558, according to the joint report to Congress.

“Since the c-21558 family’s first detection in March 1999 the total counterfeit activity (passed and seized notes) has exceeded $23 million,” according to the report. In 2005, the Secret Service detected $5.3 million from the Caucasus ring, up from $1.5 million in 2003, the report said.

That compares to the approximately $2.8 million in “supernotes” linked to North Korea that the agency says it confiscates, o­n average, each year. The production of supernotes, so called for their quality, has become a major diplomatic issue between the United States and the government of Kim Jong Il.

Georgian investigators said the fake bills from South Ossetia are made with special ink and paper and have watermarks, different serial numbers and other features that allow them to be easily passed off as real. “They are of very high quality,” Konstantin Kemularia, secretary of Georgia’s National Security Council, said in an interview.

The counterfeiting operation in the region has become another irritant in U.S. relations with Russia, which acts, in effect, as a protector for South Ossetia; Russian peacekeeping troops patrol the breakaway enclave, and most of its residents have been issued Russian passports.

“We have expressed our concerns o­n this subject to both the Russians and the South Ossetians,” said a U.S. State Department official who did not have approval to speak o­n the record. “This problem is o­ne of many that underscore the urgent need for resolution of the conflict in South Ossetia and the threat it poses to security and border control, among other consequences.”

Russia’s Interior Ministry, which is responsible for fighting counterfeiting, did not respond to requests for comment. Officials in South Ossetia, where Russian rubles are used for currency, bitterly contested any allegation that a counterfeiting ring existed o­n their territory.

“Counterfeit dollars? Well, if you are going to listen to Georgians, soon you will say that we have a nuclear bomb here,” Mikhail Mindzayev, interior minister in the separatist government, said in a telephone interview. Mindzayev asserted that “we do not have any counterfeit dollars here, and we do not have any criminals.”

After a short, bloody war in the early 1990s, South Ossetia broke away from Georgia and achieved de facto independence. Despite the presence of Russian troops, crime has flourished in the province, and in a report, the German Marshall Fund of the United States described South Ossetia and other breakaway enclaves in the Black Sea region as “breeding grounds for transnational organized crime.”

On Oct. 27, 2004, its fingers reached Linthicum, Md. At the Hampton Inn near Baltimore-Washington International Airport, Hazki Hen, who had just flown to the United States from Israel, met with two men, o­ne of whom was an undercover Secret Service agent. Hen expected to consummate a deal that had been negotiated over 19 tapped phone calls.

Hen agreed to exchange $230,000 in counterfeit $100 bills for $80,000 in genuine currency, according to a Secret Service affidavit filed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. Hen also planned to accept $220,000 as a down payment o­n the delivery of another $1.5 million in fake bills. The affidavit filed in Baltimore said that “Hen also displayed samples of paper used to produce counterfeit Euros and U.S. currency. The paper contained red and blue fibers similar to the fibers contained in genuine U.S. currency.”

Just before the Secret Service moved in and arrested Hen, the three men discussed future deals involving between $25 million and $100 million in counterfeit U.S. currency, according to the affidavit.

Nine months later and more than 5,700 miles to the east, Nana Jabelashvili, a resident of Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital, was stopped by police as she crossed a Georgian police checkpoint o­n the road between Gori and Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia. Police found $350,300 in counterfeit bills in Jabelashvili’s vehicle and later learned that she was a courier for a Georgian emigre who now lives in Israel, according to Levan Gurgenidze, head of the Georgian Interior Ministry’s organized crime unit. The emigre fled Georgia the day after Jabelashvili’s arrest, Gurgenidze said in an interview.

When Secret Service agents examined some of the bills seized from Jabelashvili, they found that they were linked to the same family of bills seized in the Hen case in Baltimore, according to a U.S. law enforcement source. Gurgenidze said the source of the bills was a counterfeiting operation run out of a building o­n Lenin Street in Tskhinvali.

In November 2005, federal prosecutors dropped charges against Hen, then 65, after he became seriously ill and the court agreed to allow him to return to Israel to die.

Jabelashvili was sentenced to 12 years in prison in Georgia in January of this year, officials here said.

Suspicions are growing, meanwhile, that some South Ossetian officials are not just ignoring counterfeiting but are involving themselves in it directly.

In January of this year, Eter Kachmazova, a senior bureaucrat in the South Ossetian Trade Ministry, held a series of meetings with a Georgian undercover officer posing as a Ukrainian businessman. The meetings, at a restaurant in Gori, which is about 30 minutes by car from Tskhinvali, and at the Sheraton Hotel in Tbilisi, were videotaped and recorded by the Georgians, who later broadcast excerpts o­n state television.

Kachmazova “said she could produce as many fake dollars as the buyers could handle, up to millions,” Gurgenidze said. “The Ukrainian, our guy, said he wanted $1.5 million, and she agreed for $25 o­n every $100.”

On Jan. 31, Kachmazova agreed to supply the first $100,000, taking it across checkpoints in lots of $10,000 in case she was stopped and searched. After she arrived with the second bundle of $10,000, police arrested her. Kachmazova is being held at a pretrial detention center in Gori.

“They immediately relocated the press o­n Lenin Street after she was arrested,” Gurgenidze said. “But they are still printing money in there.”

425 posted on 08/11/2008 2:06:35 PM PDT by Schwarzeneger
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To: ChinaThreat
"Defending Georgia on Georgian soil would LOGICALLY mean attacking Russians

So now you're implying that engaging Russians invading Georgia in Georgia is the same as attacking Russia.

The entire world would recognize the difference. Russia would of course sell their own version internally, probably successfully, but foreign policy is not dictated by how thoroughly an adversary can lie to itself.

I don't know you. You may otherwise be a knowledgeable guy, although very stubborn, but this is nonsense.

Also, if you loose the attitude when first addressing strangers, you won't draw insults.

426 posted on 08/11/2008 2:08:01 PM PDT by elfman2 ( - Reasoning CONSERVATIVES without the kooks.)
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To: ChinaThreat

You are absolutely correct we can’t respond.

But I see it differently. Fear of Russia’s willingness to resort to military action will allow it to intimidate bordering nations. Other countries will knuckle under, lest they suffer Georgia’s fate.
I bet the Ukraine quickly finds an excuse to let the Soviet fleet back in its port...

427 posted on 08/11/2008 2:11:22 PM PDT by Little Ray (I'm a Conservative. But I can vote for John McCain. If I have to. I guess.)
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To: Jack Black

I disagree that the Georgians started it. They tried to block a piece of their territory from breaking away. How is that “starting it”?

428 posted on 08/11/2008 2:18:22 PM PDT by autumnraine
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Comment #429 Removed by Moderator

To: FreeReign

See Post #18

But American diplomats conceded that the US had few options and ruled out military intervention on behalf of Georgia. “We have no good options,” a US National Security Council official told The Daily Telegraph. “We need Russia’s co-operation over Iran and derailing that over a localised conflict in Georgia makes no sense. We just have to hope that diplomacy prevails. The next necessary step is for Russia to respond positively to Georgia’s ceasefire declaration.”

And your welcome.

430 posted on 08/11/2008 2:26:52 PM PDT by autumnraine
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To: autumnraine
Technology they did start it .. though imo, Putin and the Russians were waiting for it to pounce and use it as an excuse
431 posted on 08/11/2008 2:36:13 PM PDT by Mo1
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Comment #432 Removed by Moderator

To: death2tyrants
You BDSers are no different than the far-left.

IOW, unless we blindly follow without question, comment or criticism we're traitors?

433 posted on 08/11/2008 2:37:57 PM PDT by E. Cartman (Would you want your surgeon graduating at the bottom 1% of his class?)
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To: isrul
Just the same, unless it has already happened, or is bound to happen based on physical law, it is not a fact. It may be a very darn good projection, it may have a 99% probablity (and I think this one is not that high yet), but it is nonetheless not a fact.

That is all.

As it is, the more time that goes by, the closer it comes to being an established fact. I still hold out hope that we will act and act decisevly to try and save Georgia.

434 posted on 08/11/2008 3:00:36 PM PDT by Jeff Head (Freedom is not free...never has been, never will be. (
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To: mikhailovich
Meanwhile, Tbilisi claims the escalation of tension occurred after South Ossetians attacked a Georgian patrol with a roadside bomb and shelled Georgian positions on the de-facto border. - August 2, '08 RT

Bad move, Ivan. Radioactive vodka for you.

435 posted on 08/11/2008 3:07:47 PM PDT by TigersEye (Berlin '36 ... Olympics for murdering regimes. ... Beijing '08)
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To: Proud_USA_Republican

I also believe that he is sending a message to the Nations that are agreeing to have the abm system installed. [To Wit] The United States will not protect you. When we decide to come after you, you will be on your own.

I intentionally omitted NATO because without the United States, NATO could not whip a Troop of Girl Scouts.

This was , again, in my opinion, not a spur of the moment decision on Putin’s part. He has been planning this for months.

A lot is at stake here.

436 posted on 08/11/2008 3:11:14 PM PDT by sport
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To: pgkdan

Just catching up on the thread. Your position is the one I have; that doing nothing is potentially more dangerous in the long run than doing something that seems provocative now.

Not only is Georgia a staunch ally, they have fought and still are fighting for their survival and independence from the Soviet state. We’ve had thousands of our military men and women die in Iraq for people who at times do not show the yearning to be free.

As for Iran, we do not need Russia’s help. We’ve never needed it. What we have needed is for them to stay off Iran’s side. That brings us to the glaring truth hidden out in the open, as it were; that Russia has been fighting proxy wars with us since the Soviet Union fell. Iran is a good example of that. We pretend that they’re our allies, but those old hardliners did not magically disappear with the breakup.

Do we stand up with our ally now, or do we stand alone later? I would rather that we do it now. That doesn’t mean that we have to go in guns blazing, even though that’s what Russia needs done to them. But we need to do something, anything other than sit back and allow Georgia to be run over.

437 posted on 08/11/2008 3:18:20 PM PDT by kenth (Just think, .000001783% of the population is screwing it all up for the rest of us.)
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To: Jeff Head
The reality is that we will have to lead or no one will.

I don't mind that, never have. What I do mind is that the last time we tried to lead they did not just get out of the way, they actively stood in the way and took swings. The French led the charge on that and joined with Putin in criticizing us because both Russia and France wanted to knock us down a peg or two in search of "a multi-polar world".

That little episode is a lot different than us leading and them following.

If I were the Georgian President I would turn around to my left...grab that EU flag next to him on the podium and say "does this actually mean ANYTHING or not?".
438 posted on 08/11/2008 3:30:29 PM PDT by Arkinsaw
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To: sport
I intentionally omitted NATO because without the United States, NATO could not whip a Troop of Girl Scouts.

I personally think that NATO without the US would wipe the floor with Russia on defense. Russia has nukes, but I think their conventional forces would be about twice as good as Saddam Hussein's forces which is not saying much. Putin has a good Wizard of Oz impersonation going but he still can't defend something the size of Russia with that army. Russian demographics are terrible also. Not sure they want to really lose a generation of men.

I would predict that NATO would blow up a whole lot of rusty crap in event of a war with Russia.

Putin is just another bully.
439 posted on 08/11/2008 3:35:24 PM PDT by Arkinsaw
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To: Jack Black

“the Ron Paul position as he articulates it”

This is your whitewashing of Ron Paul’s insane conspiratorial rhetoric. Ron Paul runs around spouting anti-American war-for-oil conspiracy theories, saying the U.S. forces ‘will not permit any of the three regions of Iraq to govern themselves’, while claiming that Operation Iraqi Freedom was ‘strictly motivated by a desire to exert control over the oil.’

“I think there are reasonable arguments to be made that the net results of Bush’s foreign policy, including the Iraq War, are negative for the USA. “

No, removing Saddam and replacing his terrorist regime with a democratically elected pro-western ally is not negative for the U.S. Abandoning Iraq to al-Qaeda and Iran, as Ron Paul wanted to do, would have been negative for the U.S.

“threat that Saddam represented or the sweeping demographic and cultural changed engendered by the Bush policy of allowing...”

Your interpretation of the legislation is pure fiction, and it didn’t pass anyhow. We have troops deployed in over 100 nations, but notice how the anti-war crowd pretends that the only way to close the southern boarder is by withdrawing from Iraq.

440 posted on 08/11/2008 4:14:51 PM PDT by death2tyrants
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